Xabi Etxeita “The San Mamés Is My Home, It Will Be A Special Game”
Athletic will being their Copa del Rey campaign on Wednesday when they welcome Huesca to the San Mamés for the first leg of their round of 32 draw. The game will give the Lions the opportunity to focus on something other than La Liga, which has been a disappointment so far this season, but it will also be a memorable time for Xabi Etxeita who will be making his return to the Cathedral.
“It will be a special game” the defender told reporters during his recent press conference. “The San Mamés is my home and Athletic is the team of my life. I will have mixed feelings, but I will be as professional as possible.”
The 31-year-old is currently spending the season on loan with Huesca and has quickly established himself as a leader at the newly promoted club. His teammates recently voted him as the Captain and he’s helped the squad transition to life in the Primera while also scoring two goals this season. He explained that the Copa del Rey is special to Athletic, but made it clear that he will try help Huesca on Wednesday at the San Mamés.
“The Cup is a different competition with different objectives. For Athletic it is a very important competition even with their situation in the table. Perhaps they are like us and will value the league more, but a victory always helps confidence. It would be a boost for the next league match to build confidence and moral. Everyone is trying to do their best and I am focused on helping the team achieve our objectives.”
Xabi Etxeita has made 140 appearances for Athletic Club throughout his career, scoring eight goals in the process. His contract is set to expire at the end of the season, but the Zurigorri do have an option to extend his deal for an extra season if they want to do so. The center-back has played fantastic football for Huesca this season which could see him continue at Athletic if he is able to maintain his level. Etxeita has never hid his love for Athletic, however on Wednesday he will come into the San Mamés as an opponent.